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What have you got to teach me? - Page 2

post #31 of 106
Rick H--that's a great description of student-centered instruction.

The formula is really very simple, and pretty hard to argue with: as Kim Peterson would say, a lesson that addresses a student's needs simply cannot fail. A lesson that fails to address a student's needs simply cannot succeed. AND--in order to address a student's needs, an instructor must first accurately identify what those needs are--WHATEVER they may be!

The "CAP" model, upon which Kim Peterson's concept of student-centered instruction is loosely based, suggests that needs fall into three main categories--cognitive (understanding needs), affective (motivational needs), and psychomotor (movement needs).

Many instructors, especially in the past, have focused largely on the "movement needs," either ignoring, or making lots of assumptions about, individual student motivations. While skill development, equipment, and athleticism obviously affect movements, the effects of motivation and understanding (or misunderstanding) can be at least equally profound.

Si--is it possible that some of the disagreement that you perceive is based on some level of belief that "good skiing" or "good technique" can be defined on its own, without respect to intent or motivation? If so, that really would represent a fundamental difference of opinion. There are, in my opinion, very few techniques that are categorically "bad"--the only ones that would qualify for that distinction are techniques that are inherently dangerous, or that subject the body to unacceptable risk. And even that relies on the subjective definition of "acceptable." There are NO techniques that are categorically or universally "good." A technique is only "good" if it accomplishes something you want or need, in life, or at the moment--and only "bad" if it doesn't. That's motivation, and effective instructors NEVER overlook it!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #32 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
But still, I question the point of your suggestion that you "may not want to start off with telling a potential instructor what I'd like to work on as I am open to many options." Why not tell the instructor what some of those options are? I'm going to find out, one way or the other--"how about the terrain park, then--they've just installed a 40' tall rainbow rail?" Why not save us both some time and just tell me? If my options are truly limitless, in your mind, fine. If there are "many options," but not unlimited, tell me that. If you have very specific goals, tell me that!
Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Bob, I don't understand the objection to my saying I am open to many things, watch my skiing and then let's discuss some options you might suggest. What an instructor comes up with is a very important consideration for me. It tells me a lot about their perspective and orientation and it may open up the decison of what to work on to areas that may have possibly been missed by focusing on my limited suggestions. I also want to focus on areas where an instuctor or coach excels.

BTW, I am not in anyway suggesting this is the right way to go for others. It is specific to me personally. Whether my situation represents that of other skiers is only something I can guess at.
post #33 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Si--is it possible that some of the disagreement that you perceive is based on some level of belief that "good skiing" or "good technique" can be defined on its own, without respect to intent or motivation?
Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Absolutely not. A great (perhaps the best) lesson can be had by just skiing with someone who helps you believe. This is only one examle of a "non technical" approach that I would be interested in pursuing. Again your suggestions of what I might be thinking seem to make it seem you don't really understand where I coming from.
post #34 of 106
Quote:
Bob, I don't understand the objection to my saying I am open to many things, watch my skiing and then let's discuss some options you might suggest.
Si, I've already said that not only do I have no objection to such a statement from a student, but I actually encourage it. Approaching a lesson with an open mind is very often the best way to do it--unless you do actually have some more specific goal in mind.

You are right that, given a completely free hand to make suggestions, an instructor may well reveal a lot about his or her personal perspective and orientation. But a REALLY good instructor would remain completely objective with his suggestions, completely unbiased by his own personal preferences, revealing nothing of his biases. That's not to say that the instructor wouldn't tell you what his personal preferences are, if you ask, but simply that a good instructor won't let his own bias color his recommendations for his students. In other words, that "really good" instructor will make sure that any recommendation is clearly and obviously (to you) relevant to YOUR goals and needs. You won't have to "trust" the instructor's technical judgement, or share his perspective or value system--because his recommendations are clearly justified from your OWN perspective.

Failure to do this is actually a common cause of lesson failure. The instructor accurately identifies some clear and genuine technical need, and effectively helps the student improve in that area. But the student fails to see the relevance of the technical improvements to his perceived motivations--even though they were quite relevant--so the student's perception is that lesson failed to meet any of the his personal goals.

Here's an example: a student requests a "mogul lesson." The instructor observes that the student does some things well, but completely lacks a pole plant, and as a result, has difficulty making short, precise turns needed in moguls. Furthermore, the only mogul run open at the time is a gnarly, icy, brutal double black diamond run, well beyond the capability of this beginning mogul skier. Instructor says to self, "what this person needs most to succeed in moguls is a good pole plant, because it will add the precision and rhythm to his turns and the stability that he needs in bumps." And he proceeds to help the student develop a great pole plant that will, indeed, help him in moguls. It's a brilliant, creative, and effective pole plant progression. Instructor goes home thinking "boy, I really identified and addressed that student's needs--I taught a great lesson!" And the student goes directly to the ski school desk to complain!

What went wrong? In many ways, the instructor taught the perfect lesson, or at least, the best mogul lesson that could be taught, under the circumstances. But he failed to create the relevance in the student's mind between his valid "recommendation" and the student's expressed motivation. "I signed up for a mogul lesson, and all we worked on was pole plants...." It's one little piece that is SO very important!

An instructor owes you nothing less. He or she may be someone whose skiing you admire and wish to emulate, and whose judgement with respect to your own skiing you trust completely. But you must still believe that what he or she is having you work on is relevant to your personal goals--even if that goal is nothing more than to ski like the instructor. Without that connection, you will not be satisfied with the lesson.

Quote:
Again your suggestions of what I might be thinking seem to make it seem you don't really understand where I coming from.
How would any of us know, Si, unless you tell us? And why would you tell us, if we didn't ask? I believe that this very discussion shows just how important such discussions to determine "where you're coming from" really are!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #35 of 106
I have had a few very frustrating experiences with "bad" students. The ones who do not seem to know why they bought a lesson that day. After many questions, you have to revert to the old ski instructor thing of deciding what they shall be taught, but I cannot see how that is enjoyable or satisfying for them, as they don't really own what they are learning. They are clearly less motivated than the usual students, who have some desire or hope; they seem to want you to do some miracle with them, but without any active input from them at all.
I haven't had many of these, but they stick in your mind for ages.
(and yes, I did ask them if they just wanted lift priority! They all denied it).
post #36 of 106
Si, why not just get lessons from PMTS cetified instructors, or better yet go to the camps? Isn't that what you are really looking for? Or take a race camp or mogul camp, or Eski's camp if that's what you want. You know up front what they have to teach you.
post #37 of 106
Thread Starter 
Bob, I don't know that we're getting anywhere. The example you talk about certainly represents a real possibility but not something I would ever be concerned about as either I would be open to the pole plant progression or would clearly voice a concern that the instructor should respond to.

I take it that my personal goal of trying to learn in an area that an instructor/coach knows or does best does not seem to fit into your normal model. So be it.

Ant, I guess even if I say I'm open to anything you might suggest doesn't make it a one way street. Once we agree on a direction I can guarantee you I would do my part in keeping up a two way communication. To assume that by initially looking to a coach for suggested direction and being open to most any direction does not mean the rest of a lesson is going to be a one way street. You describe a class of learners that I don't think I was referring to in anyway.
post #38 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB
Si, why not just get lessons from PMTS cetified instructors, or better yet go to the camps? Isn't that what you are really looking for? Or take a race camp or mogul camp, or Eski's camp if that's what you want. You know up front what they have to teach you.
Miles, you're way off. Mostly I would want to work with people who (at least I believe) have something valuable to offer my skiing or skiing experience. I'd be interested in working with people who have new perspectives I have not been exposed to as much as anyone else. I thought this was pretty simple but I guess I'm just not communicating well.
post #39 of 106
Si-
If we the instructor don't know what you want (new perspectives I have not been exposed to) how do we find this out? A good instructor will ask . We can not read your mind!

Tsavo
post #40 of 106

A Challenge

While this appears to be an exchange between two personalities, Bob & Si, I have a simple observation I would like to put forth from the words I see in Si’s posting with no disrespect to Si intended.

Si, I have been a teacher/coach for the last thirty years and I do not believe I could give you the lesson you need no matter what my credentials or resume` happens to be. Why? It appears you are coming from a position of “teach me I dare you”. Maybe this is some of the points others are attempting to make and yet, I want to say, there is some validity of matching coaches/instructors with like personalities.

A pretty good teacher, Maria Montessori once said “Education is not something a teacher does, but it is that natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.” She went on to conclude “It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on the environment. Individual activity is the one factor that stimulates and produces development.”

What does this mean to me? I need to be open minded, “seeing” in my coaches/teachers the something I need to experience and develop in my coaching/teaching and skiing, which then allows everyone to teach me.

However Si, there is also validity in matching similar learning styles to assist in the process. I know of one Snowsports School that attempted to match learning preferences using a personality exam designed by Horst Abraham. Unfortunately, the exam attempt or personality profiling was not successful due to the students rebuke and not the instructors.

Si, you have made some good points but in the end, daring your coach to teach you a “WOW” will close your mind to receive what gift they have for you. What my students receive is a gift they already have, they just need to be given the location and be ready to unwrap it!
post #41 of 106
Thread Starter 
John, what can I say?

I am not talking upon holding back anything.
I am not talking about daring anyone to discover a secret.
I'm not looking for a "wow" moment
I take reponsibility for my own learning.
I am elated for someone to help create an environment where I can discover for myself.

All I'm saying is I would like to lead off with an assessment where I can get an instructor's impressions of directions to take and some impressions about the instructors skills, perceptions, and attititude (also allowing them do the same with me). From there, based on circumstance, I would like the option of working together cooperatively starting out along a mutually agreed upon direction or give either the choice to politely back out.

From my point of view any reasonable instructor should be able to give me numerous directions of opportuntihy from observing me ski. From there, let's work together.
post #42 of 106
While I think it's important that an instructor asks what a student wants, my best instructors have inspired me to want what I needed.
post #43 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado



There's no student more difficult or frustating to teach than one who has no personal goals, or who is unwilling to divulge them.
This reminds me of an old story from the golf (the sport is really not material) industry.

A student approaches the desk in the pro shop and asks: "I'd like a lesson what is the price?"

Pro-" I charge $40 a half hour, $70 and hour or you may have a series of 5 half hour lessons for $160. What would you like to work on?"

Student-"I'd like a lesson on the swing."

Pro-"I'm sorry, I don't give a lesson on the swing. I give a lesson on the backswing or a lesson on how not to top the ball or a lesson on hitting soft shots around the green. But a lesson on the swing, no."

Student-"I'd still like to book a one hour lesson on the swing"

Pro-"In that case the price is $1,000."

Student, with incredulous loook-"What?"

Pro-"If your looking for a miracle you might as well pay for it!"
post #44 of 106
why do any of us do what the instructor/coach suggests? because we have bought into the "authority" and/or trust the instructor/coach.

si, it sounds to me like someone has to move heaven and earth to convince you of their worth. conducive learning environment?

kiersten
post #45 of 106

Gotta trust your coach a bit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Here's an example: a student requests a "mogul lesson." The instructor observes that the student does some things well, but completely lacks a pole plant, and as a result, has difficulty making short, precise turns needed in moguls. Furthermore, the only mogul run open at the time is a gnarly, icy, brutal double black diamond run, well beyond the capability of this beginning mogul skier. Instructor says to self, "what this person needs most to succeed in moguls is a good pole plant, because it will add the precision and rhythm to his turns and the stability that he needs in bumps." And he proceeds to help the student develop a great pole plant that will, indeed, help him in moguls. It's a brilliant, creative, and effective pole plant progression. Instructor goes home thinking "boy, I really identified and addressed that student's needs--I taught a great lesson!" And the student goes directly to the ski school desk to complain!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado



What went wrong? In many ways, the instructor taught the perfect lesson, or at least, the best mogul lesson that could be taught, under the circumstances. But he failed to create the relevance in the student's mind between his valid "recommendation" and the student's expressed motivation. "I signed up for a mogul lesson, and all we worked on was pole plants...." It's one little piece that is SO very important!
This mogul lesson example reminded me of my last lesson at the end of the season last year. A friend of mine and I signed up for a lesson, and he wanted to work on moguls, so that's what we told the instructor we wanted to do that day (all day private with just the two of us.) So we ride up the lift and up another and get to the top and ski all the way down to the bottom ...all groomers, no moguls, WTF? Up the lift again, all the while on these lift rides the instructor is asking us questions: Why do you turn? What do you do back home? What do you like to ski? How do you turn? What sports are you involved in? How often do you ski? How often do you take lessons? Geez ...I can't remember all the questions, but I'm sure this guy knows more about me than my wife does by the end of the second lift ride to the top. So off we go again to another groomer and this bone head kept us on groomers for a bit of time. We worked on things like stance, tipping, short radius turns, inside leg action, pole plants, pivot slips ...whatever, but it certainly was not on moguls like we had signed up for! I mean this America right! This is what I want, somebody take my money!

OK, I was just kidding about the "bone head" comment! Our coach is one of the best I've ever skied with - and I had started with a pretty good idea how the morning was going to pan out anyway. I'm also certain my buddy didn't and that he was probably thinking "uh, where's the mogul part?". To be 100% fair, our coach clearly explained that we were working on skills that would carry into the moguls, but that can still be pretty hard to reconcile if you don't see the connection right away. Well, we got to the mogul part, and were better prepared for them as a result of the activities during the first part of the morning. Our coach had a clear understanding of what we wanted to work on, identified how to get us there, and communicated clearly with us. It may not have been immediately obvious to us how everything fit or was going to, but we had to impart some trust that it was all going to. At the end of the day, we both agreed it was an exceptional learning experience. I know this coach certainly has my respect!

SI I can't really follow where you're going here. It almost seems like you want to insure that someone will teach you what you already know, otherwise you're not interested? In any event this thread has been instructional for me!

I know I am all too guilty of not having a clear objective when I show up for a lesson. Probably the mogul thing above is the first lesson I showed up to with a specific area to work on - and that wasn't my idea, but it sure worked out well! Seems like I can do better on communicating my goals. My mission prior to ETU then...

post #46 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye
why do any of us do what the instructor/coach suggests? because we have bought into the "authority" and/or trust the instructor/coach.

si, it sounds to me like someone has to move heaven and earth to convince you of their worth. conducive learning environment?

kiersten
If asking someone for an assessment of my skiing, potential areas to work on, and a chance to see them ski is "moving heaven and earth" so be it.
post #47 of 106
A lot of students turn up to lessons with vague feelings, I guess...but at least they have some kernel there, something motivated them to buy that lesson that day. So when you start asking them questions about it, eventually you end up with something, and it's going to work because you and the student have talked about it and agreed on it. But sometimes you get the person who just gives you nothing. No desires, no ambitions, nothing they particularly dislike about their skiing... They are like an empty cup and they want you to fill it up, but you have this feeling that whatever you give them, it won't be right.

Sometimes you do get people who say "I want you to tell me what I need to improve" and that's fine, because that's what they want! but my nightmare students aren't even there. They want magic, but are totally passive.
post #48 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
I'll add that your goals may be highly specific, or extremely vague, immediate, or long-term. They're all legitimate, because they're YOURS, and you're paying for the lesson.

Even the "I'm putting myself completely in your hands--tell me what I should be working on in my skiing" sentiment can be a legitimate and worthy motivation for taking a lesson. But even this statement warrants a question from the instructor, regarding what your ultimate goals are.

What do you want to achieve?

...
Oh yeah - so true....
I drove my instructor nuts with this... "what do you want to work on this season/today?" "skiing better"....

In the end we had big words about it & decided that what I REALLY meant when I said "skiing better" was being a "MORE VERSATILE" skier.....
It took the instructor offering silly scenarios like you used above to make me realise that I DID need to be at least a little more specific...
post #49 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si
Of course I have some of my own ideas and I would measure any suggestion on the part of an instructor against those ideas.
Si... I think you really said it here.... YOU want to measure the suggestions against YOUR ideas - without letting the instructor know what YOUR ideas are so that they can (hopefully) show you how they match/fit together.....


As probably the person who will go down in history as greatest taker of lessons EVER (at least as a percentage of days skied) I think Bob is right. YOU have the problem - not the instructors....
post #50 of 106
Oh & just to round out the discussion ....

I started with plenty of "no go zones" for my lessons .....

One is easy to understand as an example .... skis off snow - I just NEVER had any desire to get skis off snow..... DAMN IT - I need them on the snow so I can feel which way is UP!!! Not only was I not interested I would happily have attacked with skis any fool stupid enough to try to make me do it......

Now funnily enough over the years some of my favourite instructors actually taught me to ..... JUMP... (not high mind you but skis DID leave snow)..... HOW? Well part of it was explaining to me that in order to reach MY goal (more versatile) I also needed to cut them some slack & TRY some stuff I really did NOT like..... Of course at this point I had done them the courtesy of returning enough times that we could actually have LONG TERM goals not single lesson goals (VERY IMPORTANT).... The first one to get me to jump (to others disgust) taught me by teaching me to BOUNCE.....bouncing met my needs(skis on snow) & also helped my balance in uneven terrain.... it also got me towards jumping....
BUT - in the end to get me to jump required TWO things .... COMMITTED STUDENT & TEACHER & TRUST between same.... second part is part of having an ongoing relationship
post #51 of 106
This is an interesting exchange with some good points, but obviously the responsibility of a "good" lesson lies with both the student and the instructor. I think this fact carries over into the goal of the lesson.

I can relate to not being able to precisely define to an instructor "what I need to work on". Early on, I didn't know enough to know what I needed to know, if that makes any sense. My instructor got over this pretty quickly by simply asking some questions, making some runs with me, and then offering me some options as to where to start. I think this worked out pretty well. She got the feedback she needed, and I got some options to choose from and we went to work from there.

From my own coaching experience, I know it's just not realistic for an athlete to always have the ability to state a specific goal when they seek out my help. Simply put, their goal is to "improve" or to attain a particular level of performance. I look at it as part of my job to help them "sort these goals out" and prioritize them to keep them moving towards their intended destination.
post #52 of 106
Thread Starter 
Thanks Coach, well said.

Disski, while you may have had "no go zones" I don't think that is an issue for me. As the example I gave about stance width and extension was intended to show, I would be pretty much willing to go any direction with the right coach in the right environment. As a relatively informed skiing consumer I definitely want to be able to evaluate an instructor's ideas in comparison to my own understanding and perceptions. On the other hand, I don't want to bias an instructor to approach things from a particular perspective by starting out with a limiting statement of my own. It seems that in the eyes of many here that makes me appear to be a "problem." However, as I've already clearly said, I'd be interested in working with people who have new or different perspectives than me as much as (probably more than) others who are close to my own perspectives.

There are more than a few people I've skied with that certainly have very different perspectives and approaches to skiing than I do. Take, for example, a friend of mine who was a high level racer, a member of what you might call the German Demo Team, and an instructor trainer in Europe. His approach to skiing is very different than mine (as I know from a number of chair lift and apres ski discussions) but I would be thrilled to work with him based on his skiing, his credentials and his personality. Regrettably, we do not really go out to specifically "work" on things as he has so little time for his own free skiing that when we ski we just "play." Of course, skiing with him is kind of a lesson in itself.

On the other hand I have known instructors or other friends who show in their skiing certain attributes that I might view as less than desirable or things that I have actively worked to remove from my skiing (can certainly happen even when they are better skiers than I am). When they make comments that seem oriented to those attributes I usually play with it a little but often let go of the concept unless I can make something new (for me) out of it. There are, however, revelations to be found even from these situations as I've learned.

One thing I have gotten out of this thread for sure is that my perspective is not viewed very favorable by the instructors who have responded here so that it would probably not be a good match to work with them. If that feeling generalizes then I guess i should just stick to working on my own skiing in the limited (but nevertheless enjoyable) fashion I am capable of on my own.
post #53 of 106
Quote:
my perspective is not viewed very favorable by the instructors who have responded here
Si, I can pretty much guarantee that ANY instructor you go up to and demand "What have you got to teach me?" is going to react negatively, whether they tell you or not. Perhaps it's unfair to associate your actual content with just your title, but that statement alone implies both the "challenge" others have mentioned, and the notion that you expect to "be taught." I know no instructor who would greet either of these thoughts with much warmth! Most good instructors would keep it under their breath, and do their best to help you anyway. But you also open yourself up to the "Devil's Crotch" scenario I described in "The importance of hotness of the feet," (post number 53, and discussed in subsequent posts). "Challenge" an instructor, suggest that you are testing his/her own skiing competence, and many will respond by blowing you away, demonstrating quite clearly just how competent they are. It is, after all, what you are asking for! Most instructors will refrain from "showing up" their students--it's most unprofessional, usually--but if it's what you ask for, well, you're the boss!

Let's face it, Si--you've made a big point of suggesting that you're "open" to "many options," but your words belie the truth that you are, in fact, NOT open to very many options. Not that there's anything wrong with that--you're entitled to any wishes or desires that turn you on--but this whole notion of "testing" your instructor to see if he or she produces specifically what you're looking for, without your clear guidance as to just what that is, is odious. Good luck finding a competent instructor who likes to play that guessing game with you. Good instructors will dig very deep to work with you, with whatever it is you want to work with, within any guidelines you desire--highly specific and restrictive, or very open and unrestrictive. As a "partner" in your learning process, they'll do their very best for you (which still may well not be enough, but that's another story). But this challenge, this "test" that you imply, is hardly the best way to initate or nurture any sort of "partnership."

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #54 of 106
I hear "audition" and I see nothing wrong with that. I often invite people who want to join my classes at Bridger Bowl to sample a lesson. That's an audition, right?

Come to Bridger, Si, or Big Sky for ESA, and I will teach you the secrets of the transitionless transition.
post #55 of 106
The "transitionless transition." There you go! That sounds like something worth exploring, Nolo!

The idea of "auditioning" an instructor, searching for that one that really clicks for you, is certainly a valid and worthy quest. It's much like dating, really, looking for a soul mate. Or like a job interview, looking for that perfect rewarding and personally fulfilling career. But successful dating, interviewing, and auditioning are skills themselves, aren't they? It would be interesting to know how many "perfect partnerships" never materialize because of some blunder in the initial stages of the relationship. Try challenging your job interviewer to prove his/her competence, and see how far you get!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #56 of 106
Thread Starter 
Thanks Nolo, it's nice to have an instructor "hear" what I'm trying to say! I would only modify the term, audition, which you use. To me, it suggest a capability to judge quality and skill in a more absolute sense. I like to think more along the lines of "interview" where I can judge the fit between myself and a coach and, just as importantly, they can do the same.

Well Bob, I guess you can read into the title what you want. It was chosen to attract attention as being in contrast with asking for coaching in a specific area, nothing more. It is not the kind of approach I would use in personal interaction and I believe the content makes that clear. It's your choice to interpret it how you wish but there is no personal challenge. Also, the last thing I expect or desire is to "just" be taught. I learn for myself and am only looking for someone who can help me in that process.

The "Devil's Crotch" scenario is one I don't mind at all and actually enjoy. Heck, I occasionally get to ski with some people or groups who just do that naturally. From the few glimpses of their skiing I get at the beginning and the attempt to apply what I see in order to keep as close as possible I've had some of my greatest revelations. Last year I had one such day with a "posse" of great skiers in Jackson Hole. I was pushed way beyond my comfort zone but managed to hang on, just being able to catch up when they occasionally paused to regroup. It was the best day of skiing I had last year. On the other hand, an instructor who responds in this way to a perceived challenge from a client (without at least discussing it with their client first) is highly suspect of being very insecure, immature, and needing to prove themselves.

Perhaps I'm wrong but I sense a reaction along that line when you consider what I am suggesting as "testing" as opposed to the concept of interview which is how I think about it. Yes, I termed the title in a such a way that it had a tone of challenge. However, I tried to make it clear in my posts that the challenge was not what it was about. It was about an alternative perspective on matching coach/instructor and client.

It was a relief to at least have one instructor respond in a non-threatened fashion. Thanks Nolo.
post #57 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Try challenging your job interviewer to prove his/her competence, and see how far you get!
Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Bob, I think you are getting things backwards here. The client is employing the instructor, not vice versa. They should be the job interviewer!
post #58 of 106
I would see it, like any relationship, as a two-way street. Either party could easily curtail a potentially mutually beneficial relationship, with nothing more than an ill-chosen word or unfortunate (but perhaps telling) body language.

As we learn more about what exactly you want, Si, it becomes much easier for any of us to formulate a plan to help address your desires. I have no problem whatsoever with any of the things you said in your last post, because you've actually given some guidelines as to what you really do want. You want to watch a top instructor rip it up and show you just how it can be done? Just ask him/her! But do realize that you'll have to be very clear that that is really what you want, because it is far removed from what most instructors would--or should--do without a very clear reason. As I've said, instructors are trained to ski at, or only slightly above, the speed, terrain, and movement sophistication of their students, for many reasons. Generally, there is little to gain and much to lose by beating up on a student's ego. Generally, instructors' demonstrations must show skiing that is reasonably attainable by their students. Generally, you can't be of much help when you're at the bottom, and your student is struggling at the top! But generalizations are dangerous, and if it's your specific and genuine desire that your instructor show you something different, for whatever reason, most instructors would gladly oblige!

As I said, it may be unfair to respond to your title alone--and I hardly have. But that title--that you knowingly and intentionally chose--does speak volumes. Why would you "term the title in a such a way that it had a tone of challenge," and then get indignant when people react as expected to your challenge? The same thing will happen--I promise--in a lesson, job interview, or date. You chose your words--especially the title--carefully. You got the reaction from many people that any thinking person would have to expect!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #59 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
...the transitionless transition.
:

Wow, nolo, that's a great expression...description...whatever you'd call it, but it creates a crystal clear image - for me anyway!

I can "see it" in my minds eye perfectly.

Thanks!
post #60 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado

... Si, I can pretty much guarantee that ANY instructor you go up to and demand "What have you got to teach me?" is going to react negatively, whether they tell you or not...
Bob, why should an instructor react to that question negatively?

I've been in sales of various sorts for nearly 25 years. Most of that time, I've sold intangible items - services.

When I have the opportunity to talk to a prospective customer, some form of that question is how my sales process starts. In one form or another, the whole purpose of the dialog is for the customer to determine why he should buy from me (or my company) rather than some other provider. Why he should by my product rather than some other - or even forego a purchase altogether. Granted, if I'm doing my job well I'm asking a lot of questions and uncovering what my prospect's needs might be, but in the end I'm trying to present to the customer why *my* solution is "better" than the other solutions available to him.

I'm continually being "auditioned" and if I don't make the proper first impressions, I won't get any further in the sales process. I'm completely comfortable with that concept.

I actually feel that Si's question "What have you got to teach me?" is roughly the equivalent in my business of "Why should I buy from YOU?" I look at that question as a golden opportunity for me to explain (or demonstrate) all the reasons that the prospect *should* buy from me.

Why should ski instruction be so much different from that? Why should a ski instructor be offended or react negatively to a question like Si's, particularly if it's posed by a student who is eager and willing to learn?

Bob

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